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Saturday, July 21, 2012


Take a look at the wall here. This is right next to the garden. It's pretty big, blank, generic. Although it does have nice, clean new siding (thank you SKSD facilities). We looked at that wall and thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to put up a mural or something like that?"  
So you take a little idea like that and add some creative, energetic people and ideas and The Tree of Life garden mosaic idea is born. Art is something that the McKinley community values. Part of the fundraising we do goes towards an artist in residence program, where each classroom, and each student works with an artist and creates a unique piece of art to take home. 

This year, Lyn Takata worked with students to create a garden mosaic that will be installed on that blank wall I mentioned earlier. All the mosaic pieces were created by the students. Here is the first stage of installation. Pretty good progress thanks to an awesome crew of volunteers. 

Come down to McKinley Sunday and lend a hand and see the artistic work happening!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The garden in July

Is it already July!?? Well, just barely, really. But one great thing--one of the many great things about July--is the hotter weather. I say hotter, because I have often said summer doesn't start in our part of Oregon until after July 4th. And it's hotter, and it's going to get even hotter probably. Which is great for things like tomatoes and green beans. Not so much for the peas and lettuce. So if you haven't gotten over to see the beautiful red lettuce and crisp heads of romaine, do it now because they won't be there much longer.
Speaking of hot weather loving plants, here are some of those tomatoes I mentioned. Look at them!! They look great! I think these were planted by a 5th grade classroom. There are 3-4 different varieties, one of them is even a purple tomato. Yum.

Check out these healthy plants. We've got some potatoes and onions living happily together planted by the 3rd & 4th graders.
 Have you heard of companion planting? This is the idea that certain plants are  happier together than others, and benefit each other. Onions keep away the Colorado potato beetle, a nasty little pest that looks like a lady bug, but it's yellow and has black stripes instead of spots. If you see it, squish it.
Or find it a better home, away from the garden.

Remember the garden in progress? Well this is what's happening in that new patch of dirt. There are corn stalks standing tall, and pole beans starting to want to wrap around something, and big, old pumpkin plants leafing out and flowering. The bees love the squash flowers. They are huge, yellow, and very inviting if you are a bee.
Go, pollinators!

Ok all you McKinley creatives, what can this space become? Here are some ideas to get you going:
1.outdoor classroom
2. native plant garden
3. stumpery--home to decaying wood and the insects that love them.
4. and...

The possibilities are endless.
Send me your ideas.
I need 'em!